Activity and the Benefits of Exercise

activities-150x150Long term weight loss can’t be accomplished by dieting alone. There is only one way to maintain weight loss: decreased calories and increased activity.

The Benefits of Exercise

When you exercise regularly you reduce your risk of heart disease, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, ease shortness of breath, and relieve stress on joints. Exercise also raises your metabolism. Not only do you burn calories during your workout, but you also use more calories all day long because exercise builds buscle and muscle always uses more calories than fat.

Inactivity can actually be an appetite stimulatn. A program of regular, moderate exercise will increase your metabolism, burn excess fat, build lean muscle, and decrease your appetite.

Getting Started

Getting started is easy. At first, you’ll increase incidental activity, which means walking down stairs rather than taking the elevator and parking in the farthest space from the store rather than the closest. Next your counselor will help you begin a program of regular walking.

Exercise Facts & Fallacies

No pain, No gain
False. Exercising to the point of discomfort can signal bone, joint, and muscle injury.

Drinking liquids while exercising causes cramps.
False. The cramping often seen during exercise means you need water!

You can “sweat” the weight off.
False. Perspiration loss during exercise can account for some temporary weight loss. Don’t be fooled though. It will be “regained” with the first glass of water you drink!

Exercise makes you hungry
False. Moderate activity will not increase your appetite. Exercising fuels feelings of control and accomplishment. Additionally, when you’re exercising, you’re not near the fridge!

Spot reducing eliminates fat deposits in problem areas
False. Spot reducing can tone and firm an area to make it look thinner, but if there is excess fat in the area, it will never look as firm as you want with spot exercises alone!

Cellulite is not the same as other fat
False. Fat, by any other name is still fat! While it is true that some areas of the body are more resistant to fat loss than others, no manner of creams or massages will reduce or eliminate the dimpled, fatty deposits dubbed cellulite. The only way to shed these fat cells is through the same program of diet and exercise you’re using for generalized weight reduction.

Your scale is the best measure of your exercise program
False. When you exercise, heavier, lean muscle tissue increases while lighter fat is lost. In fact, you may even gain a pound or two when you start to exercise. Measure your success by evaluating the decreases in your body fat instead of just checking on the pounds.